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Morwen Eledhwen

Meaning: dark maiden

Other Names: Eledhwen 'Elf-sheen'

Location(s): Dorthonion, Dor-lómin, Doriath, Vale of Sirion

Race/Species: Man

Type/Kind: 1st Age Edain

Title(s): Lady of Dor-lómin

Dates: I 443 - I 500

Parents:
father: Baragund of the House of Bëor

Spouse: Húrin of the House of Hador

Children: Túrin, Lalaith, Nienor (Níniel)

Description:

The daughter of Baragund was Morwen, the mother of Túrin

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 17, Of the Coming of Men into the West

Morwen, who was named Eledhwen, that is Elf-sheen...

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 18, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

[Húrin's] wife was Morwen Eledhwen, daughter of Baragund of the house of Bëor, she who fled from Dorthonion with Rían daughter of Belegund and Emeldir the mother of Beren.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 18, Of the Ruin of Beleriand and the Fall of Fingolfin

Morgoth cursed Húrin and Morwen and their offspring, and set a doom upon them of darkness and sorrow

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 20, Of The Fifth Battle: Nirnaeth Arnoediad

Morwen, daughter of Baragund, was the wife of Húrin, Lord of Dor-lómin; and their son was Túrin, who was born in the year that Beren Erchamion came upon Lúthien in the Forest of Neldoreth. A daughter they had also who was called Lalaith, which is Laughter, and she was beloved by Túrin her brother; but when she was three years old there came a pestilence to Hithlum, borne on an evil wind out of Angband, and she died.

Now after the Nirnaeth Arnoediad Morwen abode still in Dor-lómin, for Túrin was but eight years old, and she was again with child. Those days were evil; for the Easterlings that came into Hithlum despised the remnant of the people of Hador, and they oppressed them, and took their lands and their goods, and enslaved their children. But so great was the beauty and majesty of the Lady of Dor-lómin that the Easterlings were afraid, and dared not to lay hands upon her or her household; and they whispered among themselves, saying that she was perilous, and a witch skilled in magic and in league with the Elves. Yet she was now poor and without aid, save that she was succoured secretly by a kinswoman of Húrin named Aerin, whom Brodda, an Easterling, had taken as his wife; and Morwen feared greatly that Túrin would be taken from her and enslaved. Therefore it came into her heart to send him away in secret, and to beg King Thingol to harbour him, for Beren son of Barahir was her father's kinsman, and he had been moreover a friend of Húrin, ere evil befell. Therefore in the autumn of the Year of Lamentation Morwen sent Túrin forth over the mountains with two aged servants, bidding them find entry, if they could, into the kingdom of Doriath. [...]

In the first beginning of the year Morwen gave birth to her child, the daughter of Húrin; and she named her Nienor, which is Mourning.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Thereafter messengers went north to Hithlum, bidding Morwen leave Dor-lómin and return with them to Doriath; but still she would not leave the house in which she had dwelt with Húrin.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

[Túrin] was in truth the son of Morwen Eledhwen to look upon: dark-haired and pale-skinned, with grey eyes...

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

[When] because of the deeds of the Mormegil the power of Morgoth was stemmed west of Sirion, Morwen fled at last from Dor-lómin with Nienor her daughter, and adventured the long journey to Thingol's halls. There new grief awaited her, for she found Túrin gone, and to Doriath there had come no tidings since the Dragon-helm had vanished from the lands west of Sirion; but Morwen remained in Doriath with Nienor as guests of Thingol and Melian, and were treated with honour.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Now new tidings came to Doriath concerning Nargothrond [...] all declared that it was known to many in Nargothrond ere the end that the Mormegil was none other than Túrin son of Húrin of Dor-lómin.

Then Morwen was distraught, and refusing the counsel of Melian she rode forth alone into the wild to seek her son, or some true tidings of him. Thingol therefore sent Mablung after her, with many hardy march-wards, to find her and guard her, and to learn what news they might; but Nienor was bidden to remain behind. Yet the fearlessness of her house was hers; and in an evil hour, in hope that Morwen would return when she saw that her daughter would go with her into peril, Nienor disguised herself as one of Thingol's people, and went with that ill-fated riding.

They came upon Morwen by the banks of Sirion, and Mablung besought her to return to Menegroth; but she was fey, and would not be persuaded. Then also the coming of Nienor was revealed, and despite Morwen's command she would not go back; and Mablung perforce brought them to the hidden ferries at the Meres of Twilight, and they passed over Sirion. And after three days' journeying they came to Amon Ethir, the Hill of Spies, that long ago Felagund had caused to be raised with great labour, a league before the doors of Nargothrond. There Mablung set a guard of riders about Morwen and her daughter, and forbade them to go further. But he, seeing from the hill no sign of any enemy, went down with his scouts to the Narog, as stealthily as they could go.

But Glaurung was aware of all that they did, and he came forth in heat of wrath, and lay into the river; and a vast vapour and foul reek went up, in which Mablung and his company were blinded and lost Then Glaurung passed east over Narog.

Seeing the onset of the dragon the guards upon Amon Ethir sought to lead Morwen and Nienor away, and fly with them with all speed back eastwards; but the wind bore the blank mists upon them, and their horses were maddened by the dragon-stench, and were ungovernable, and ran this way and that, so that some were dashed against trees and were slain, and others were borne far away. Thus the ladies were lost, and of Morwen indeed no sure tidings came ever to Doriath after.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 21, Of Túrin Turambar

Húrin [...] came at last to the place of the burning of Glaurung, and saw the tall stone standing near the brink of Cabed Naeramarth.

But Húrin did not look at the stone, for he knew what was written there; and his eyes had seen that he was not alone. Sitting in the shadow of the stone there was a woman, bent over her knees; and as Húrin stood there silent she cast back her tattered hood and lifted her face. Grey she was and old, but suddenly her eyes looked into his, and he knew her; for though they were wild and full of fear, that light still gleamed in them that long ago had earned for her the name Eledhwen, proudest and most beautiful of mortal women in the days of old.

'You come at last,' she said. 'I have waited too long.'

'It was a dark road. I have come as I could,' he answered.

'But you are too late,' said Morwen. 'They are lost.'

'I know it,' he said. 'But you are not.'

But Morwen said: 'Almost. I am spent I shall go with the sun. Now little time is left: if you know, tell me! How did she find him?'

But Húrin did not answer, and they sat beside the stone, and did not speak again; and when the sun went down Morwen sighed and clasped his hand, and was still; and Húrin knew that she had died. He looked down at her in the twilight and it seemed to him that the lines of grief and cruel hardship were smoothed away. 'She was not conquered,' he said; and he closed her eyes, and sat unmoving beside her as the night drew down. The waters of Cabed Naeramarth roared on, but he heard no sound, and he saw nothing, and felt nothing, for his heart was stone within him. But there came a chill wind that drove sharp rain into his face; and he was roused, and anger rose in him like smoke, mastering reason, so that all his desire was to seek vengeance for his wrongs and for the wrongs of his kin, accusing in his anguish all those who ever had dealings with them. Then he rose up, and he made a grave for Morwen above Cabed Naeramarth on the west side of the stone; and upon it he cut these words: Here lies also Morwen Eledhwen.

The Silmarillion, Quenta Silmarillion, Ch 22, Of the Ruin of Doriath

Contributors:
Tanaqui 10Dec05

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